June 23, 2019
Edward Merritt, Architect, Seattle
It’s apparent from the images and numbering system that at least some of these homes were designed by Edward Merritt, his catalog uses the same images and numbers.
July 20, 2017
Roaring Twenties Pre Cut Homes; Publication Date Discrepancy?
This is an interesting and different catalog of ready-cut style houses, showing many popular designs of the day. Several of them seem to be extremely similar to the designs shown in other more well known and highly distributed catalogs of the times. However, this being a time when "borrowing" designs from others was a common practice, it's not too surprising to see similar designs. Quite a few however, show no or very little similarity to other published styles or arrangements.
There are very limited options provided for inside furnishings, such as cabinetry, doors, or collonades to place between rooms - I think there was one bookcase arrangement shown, intended for placement between living and dining rooms. No plumbing, heating, wiring or lighting fixtures were shown at all, at a time when many other dealers were showing multiple options for many of those features. There are just a few photos showing interiors of some of the homes, and one photo showing a short street of five model homes built near the plant facilities, for potential customers to visit, and get an idea of the types of homes this company could furnish them.
An interesting feature of the price sheet provided with the first catalog is the addition of a chart of guaranteed shipping weights of each home, to allow the potential customer to figure that cost, based on F.O.B. the origin plant location, to his own local station where the materials could be delivered. That cost is guaranteed by the company, with the offer of a refund of the difference should the final bill be more. They offer up an optimistic example of a customer figuring that cost to ship the materials to Chicago, but I think with all the major players in this field being located in or very much closer to Chicago than this little company in Oregon, it would be highly unlikely that they should secure much business from that location.
I am a little confused as to the date provided for this catalog, as there actually appears to be two of them here. The first one seems to be complete in about 24 pages, and the second picks up after that, finishing with the last published page shown.
However, the date of publication seems to be in question here, as page two, or the inside title page, of the first catalog shows "Catalog Number Three" and a printed publication year of 1922, but on page 23 of the same catalog, shows in a handwritten entry at the top left corner of the price sheet (#4) says April 13, 1923.
I was unable to locate a mention of 1924 in either of them, or any date at all in the second catalog, which does not show the same inside data pages before the plans, or any price sheet, begging off by mentioning the instability of the current lumber market, and asking the customer to write for further detailed pricing information. This surely was the case immediately following WWI, but by the early 20's had stabilized considerably, with the growing economy of the Roaring Twenties making it easier on everyone.